Customer Review

14 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Wind Rises, 18 May 2014
This review is from: Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
This has received some good reviews, but personally I don't think it lives up to them. A young Japanese man follows his ambition of creating beautiful aircraft, and so trains as an aeronautical engineer during the inter-war years. His dreams are, however, overshadowed by the possibility that his creations could be used for destructive purposes during World War II.

But despite having these serious undertones the film winds up feeling rather slight. The central character is dull, and rather one-dimensional in his tireless good temper and complete self-assurance. There is also an unnecessary love story, which could not be more saccharine if the two lovers were to sleep on a bed of sugarcane at night. The story around the aeroplanes is of more interest and there is some nice visual design, but sadly the script feels somewhat stale and lacking in maturity - making you wonder how effectively the translation from Japanese has been carried out.

Unfortunately, for me The Wind Rises is not so much a full-blown hurricane, but a mere rustling of the leaves.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 May 2014 11:43:54 BDT
Mark Pearce says:
Hello R Morley
The Wind Rises was a pretty big disappointment. Your assessment is on the whole spot on. If this is Miyazaki's last film then what a shame.
Beautiful to look at,the earthquake scene was nicely done and it it did get quite touching in the final act but had been pretty wet until then .The coda at the end was trite to say the least.
Miyazaki's choice of subject matter felt like a thinly veiled device to sum up his own life.
The other reviewer who gave this 5* has either never seen a Studio Ghibli film or is too kind a soul by half.
I would recommend Porco Rosso - much more fun with wonderful aerial sequences(and alot shorter) or Grave of the Fireflies a sobering indictment of war and although slow is mature and beautifully touching unlike the Wind Rises.
Regards

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2014 13:40:57 BDT
PoochJD says:
I have to agree. Saw THE WIND RISES last week (in Japanese, with English Subs), but felt the film was way too long, too complex, and a tad pointless to boot. There were some good scenes, but ultimately, it seemed like there was no emotional core, no heart to the film. It was essentially a two hour tale about a man building planes, with little-to-nothing for viewers to grab hold of and actually enjoy.

A real shame, as almost every GHIBLI film is a masterpiece. Ironically, I saw MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO at my local cinema, yesterday, and that is as near to cinematic perfection as any GHIBLI film can get. Absolutely perfect, flawless and a true masterpiece, I will, never bore of watching!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2014 13:46:02 BDT
Antenna says:
You are right that I have not seen the other film you cite, and so may well have overrated "The Wind Rises". I understand what you mean by "pretty wet" and "trite" but accepted this aspect as part of a different cultural approach to expressing emotion. Instead, I was struck by Miyazaki's creative imagination, and a sensitivity with touches of humour - the various characters were quite well developed for a "cartoon". All this enabled me to empathise with the Japanese more than I have ever been able to do before, perhaps because the cruelty and devotion to duty of their culture have been uppermost in the Japanese films I have seen in the past.

Posted on 20 May 2014 08:52:20 BDT
Mark Pearce says:
Hello Pooch/Antenna
Pooch
My Neighbour Totoro.Wonderous film,would love to see that on big screen.Sacrilige I know but the only Ghibli not to do it for me was Spirited Away.
Antenna
Fair enough to a degree but if you felt it wet or trite yourself you can hardly give it 5* just because the film exhibited some creative imagination.Miyazaki does not make cartoon's.Would suggest the ones mentioned by Pooch and myself esp Grave.... as well as works by Nomura (Castle of Sand),Ozu,Mizoguchi (literally anything by these two masters)and Imamura (Vengeance is Mine,The Eel)if you want to widen your appreciation of Japanese culture through film.
Regards

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2014 12:30:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 May 2014 12:32:08 BDT
PoochJD says:
Hi Mark,

Depending on where you live in the UK, if you have a Picturehouse arts cinema near you, they are doing a series of Ghibli films each Sunday, for the next 5 weeks. TOTORO was just on this weekend. PORCO ROSSO is next, followed by PRINCESS MONONOKE, SPIRITED AWAY, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, and lastly PONYO. All should be showing in Japanese with English Subs, so it's definitely worth checking to see if you can get to any of the cinemas. You may find seeing them on the big-screen helps you reassess their true greatness. :)

See the following link for more details...

http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/News/item/We_Heart_Miyazaki/

Posted on 28 May 2014 14:28:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2014 14:30:14 BDT
R. Morley says:
Thanks for the responses. Perhaps I should add that I am in no way an expert where this type of film is concerned, my review being very much the thoughts of a typical cinema goer, who will give anything a look on the back of favourable reviews.

Following your recommendations I am thinking of giving My Neighbour Totoro a try... it seems like one I might enjoy.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2014 12:19:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 May 2014 12:21:41 BDT
PoochJD says:
@R. Morley - The best Ghibli films, in my view, and this list is in no particular order, would be:
My Neighbour Totoro
Pom Poko
Arrietty
Only Yesterday
Whisper Of The Heart
Grave Of The Fireflies (But be warned, this one will have you in tears, as it's a very bleak story!)
The Cat Returns (a semi-sequel to Whisper Of The Heart)
Spirited Away
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbours, The Yamadas (A very, very different Ghibli film, that is essentially a series of vignettes!)
Kiki's Delivery Service
From Up On Poppy Hill

Any of those, should please you infinitely more than THE WIND RISES. And, overall, MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO is the best of the lot, in my opinion. It's flawless in every way: magical, enchanting, sweet, great animation and voice-work, and with an absolute charming story that bewitches every adult and child who sees it.

But nothing compares to seeing any Ghibli film on a cinema screen, in Japanese with English Subs, surrounded by fellow Ghibli fans of all ages! ;) If you have a Picturehouse cinema near you, then keep an eye out, as they often do Ghibli films. As does the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, in London (if that's easier for you to get too).

Posted on 31 May 2014 00:03:08 BDT
drmar120 says:
Regrettably, I have to agree with R. Morley in every major respect. The main character is two-dimensional. There are nods to the serious moral and ethical issues that Jiro's life work involved, but they seem perfunctory. The love story is distressingly like Love Story--treacly and precious and dreadfully overeager to tug at the heartstrings--and actually not based in fact. I am normally a Ghibli fan, but I am sad that the master's last film had to be this.

Posted on 4 Jun 2014 11:46:26 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2014 13:11:01 BDT
PoochJD says:
No, Damn-Deal-Done! There may be several perfectly valid reasons why someone chooses to watch a Studio Ghibli film in Dubbed English. Yes, I do believe that Ghibli's should all be watched in Japanese with English Subs, but that doesn't mean that Dubs don't also serve a useful purpose. I assume you'd say the same thing to a five-year-old, who wants to watch TOTORO for the first time, and can't read that well yet, yes?! Or what about someone who isn't able to read subtitles, due to severe dyslexia? What about people who are partially-sighted? Are you going to tell all of those people, "You must watch these films in Japanese, with English Subtitles, otherwise your opinion doesn't count"?!

I would sincerely hope that you would NOT!

So, your comment, is to be fair, a tad elitist, in my view.
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